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04 AUG 2015

Annoying pop-up surveys. How to make them user friendly?

You want to implement intercept surveys and get feedback from people visiting your website, but feel concerned about their reaction to pop-up survey invites? How to prevent them from treating your invites like unwanted adds and closing the window without even reading? Read this article to learn how to design effective intercept surveys that don’t annoy your users.

Find the perfect moment

Consider the reason, why people come to your site and the natural path they follow while browsing through it. This will help you pick the best moment for launching the survey. Inviting them immediately after they enter the site makes no sense. They won’t have enough time to make sure your service has the content they were looking for and they might even classify it as spam and close not only the invite but the entire website. Before asking them for feedback, make them trust you by giving them time to familiarize with your service (at least 30-60 seconds).

It’s a good idea to use the information gathered with cookies. You will find out e.g. how much time on average people spend on your website and which landing pages are the most engaging. This kind of information is very helpful when choosing the perfect moment to present the survey invitation.

Keep your style coherent

Make sure the pop-up window is attractive and esthetic, not too flashy or irritating (perhaps try using opaque background). You may also decide to design a separate tab or a bar (side, bottom or top). This kind of solution is definitely less annoying, but also less effective.

It’s important that the text and graphic design of your invitation and survey is in line with the general style of your communication with the consumers. This will make it fit seamlessly with the environment your visitors are used to. Remember to put your logo on the survey and the invitation in order to prevent any respondents’ trust issues. In case of some industry types (e.g. banking, medicine) or sensitive data be extra careful and make sure your respondents feel secure - use white label online surveys which provide full survey branding without the logo of the third party survey provider and a survey url of your choice.

Search for the best spot

Remember that you can decide on the time and style of your intercept survey, as well as on its placement on the website. Make it pop-up where there’s most crucial information on the site for maximum effect. It will be impossible to miss! Remember, however, that more pushy communicates (e.g. covering important information or the entire site) have higher response rates, but they’re also more annoying. Decide what is more important for your business and whether you’re willing to accept a  limited response rate by placing your intercept survey away from the key content on your website.

Also, if there are adds on your site, the survey invite should be launched after, not during, the advertisements.

Keep it clear and simple

Your website survey invite (as well as the survey itself) should be clear and simple. Keep the same style and register you’re using for other content on the site. Inform your respondents on the survey aim, they will  be more willing to give feedback if they feel like they opinion matters.

The aim of the invitation is to encourage visitors to complete the survey, however, it shouldn’t look like and advertisement (people might automatically close it). Again, don’t forget to add your logo.
Provide the estimated survey completion time. Your respondents didn’t come to the site with the intention to answer the questions, they were looking for something completely different. Respect that and keep your surveys short (no more than 5 minutes) and engaging.

It’s also a good idea to refresh or completely change your intercept survey invitation design every once in a while. This way you’ll increase your chances to reach those who kept ignoring previous pop-ups.

Know your visitors

When designing your intercept survey use all the information regarding your website visitors that you’ve gathered so far (e.g. from previous surveys, social media comments, ...). Analyze their behavior when they visit your site in order to ask relevant questions (e.g. don’t ask them about payments if they haven’t bought anything yet).

Consider their preferences :  they’re into fast cars or home cooking? Use this information by placing an appropriate picture on the survey invite.

Think about the possible technical issues. If most of your visitors are young and tech savvy they might have the pop-ups blocked in their browsers. If they’re elderly, you might consider using bigger font size.

Respect your respondents

Don’t attack people with excessive survey invites. Estimate how many people (percent) who visit your site should be surveyed and decide how many survey invites should be launched a day. Never invite the same person twice the same day and don’t spam people, who have already completed the survey.

Don’t force your visitors to complete intercept surveys. They should always have the possibility to opt-out and the close or continue buttons should be clearly visible and easy to locate. It’s also a good idea to let your website users inform you if they do not wish to receive any feedback surveys or decide what is their maximum per given amount of time.

Test your ideas

Always test your intercept surveys. Make sure they work well and look good on all types of devices (including mobile) and browsers.

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